Quarter-finals in sight for beaten FA Vase duo as attentions turn to Norfolk Senior Cup
- Credit: Ian Burt
Gorleston and Norwich United will look to bounce back from their FA Vase exits by progressing in the Norfolk Senior Cup.
The Greens and the Planters exited the national non-league competition in the past seven days by losing matches on their own turf. So their bossess will be looking for an immediate response as they turn their attentions to county-based combat.
Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division Gorleston welcome same-league Fakenham Town while their Step Five rivals, managed by Damian Hilton, travel to a team that play two tiers below them, Almary Green Anglian Combination Premier Division Harleston Town.
Thurlow Nunn top-flight champions, and current leaders, United have been one of the area's most impressive sides in the past few years. Yet they haven't matched that dominance in the Senior Cup only reaching today's stage – the fourth round – two seasons ago as well as suffering semi-final heartbreak to eventual winners Wroxham last term. The Planters last reached the final in 2010 where they suffered a shock defeat on penalties to Mattishall – the last Ang Comb side to win it.
Gorleston have however made two of the last four showcase matches at Norwich City's Carrow Road ground. They lifted the trophy in 2012 and 2014 but crashed out at the quarter-final stage last term after being thumped 4-0 by Hilton's Planters.
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Greens boss Ricci Butler, whose men controversially exited the Vase on Saturday thanks to an after extra-time defeat, said: 'The Vase is done. We've got to let it go. There's nothing we can do to change it.
'The Vase is over and we can no longer focus on it. The question now is can we get to Carrow Road? Making Wembley in the Vase was always going to be a really, really tough job. But we are definitely capable of getting to Carrow Road so that's what we'll try and do now.'
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Gorleston, who lost 4-3 to FC Romania in a game which saw Butler and his defender Aaron Taylor sent off, and Norwich – edged 1-0 by Hullbridge Sports in their Vase second round match on Tuesday – are clear favourites to progress and join Thetford Town, Acle United and Dereham Town in the quarter-finals.
Butler's boys sit 10th in their table while player-manager Robbie Harris' Fakenham are rock bottom. Struggling Harleston, 15th in their 16-team table, would create a monumental upset if they shocked Hilton's troops. Elsewhere, in an all Ang Comb Prem tie, Spixworth, third, host fifth-placed Dersingham Rovers, weather permitting.
The remaining fourth round matches are set to be played on Tuesday night.
See today's paper to find out who will play who in the last eight.